Do you ever feel like you’re running out of ideas? A lot of times you might have a list of ideas you haven’t worked on yet, but we aren’t always motivated to work on specific projects, yet we still want to work on SOMETHING. You can find ways to generate new ideas by doing many different things. Here are a few examples.
Read blogs, essays and nonfiction books
You can gather a lot of ideas and inspiration from reading fiction, but you can learn just as much by reading blogs, essays and nonfiction books. Does that sound a little boring to you? You might not be reading the right things. You don’t have to read about anything you aren’t interested in to learn. There are blogs and essays and books out there on every subject. Read what you like and let it inspire you to write about what really interests you, too.
Reading nonfiction may not be entertaining in the same way fiction is, but it’s a great way to learn and to exercise your brain. There are other options out there, though, if reading isn’t your thing, or you don’t have time to sit down and read a ton every day (but you can work on changing this, if you want).
Listen to TED talks
The whole reason TED Talks exist is to give people the opportunity to speak about their expertise and experiences – and to give listeners opportunities to learn and be inspired by a wide range of ideas and opinions. It’s sort of like reading a bunch of short essays, except there isn’t any reading involved.
If you’re someone who wants to broaden your intellectual horizons but you don’t have time to read a lot or money to take extra classes, TED Talks are perfect. You can watch or listen to them for free, choose any topic you want or a random set, and gather your own new ideas and opinions on your own time. Many of the posts on this site in the past few months have been inspired by TED Talks.
Spend time with people you don’t know
Have you ever disagreed with a friend, but didn’t really actually try to understand their explanation of their opinion because you didn’t want to ‘argue’ with a friend? Having insightful conversations with family and friends can be valuable, but to get the most out of conversations that challenge our opinions and beliefs, it’s also helpful to discuss issues with people we don’t know so well.
Spending time with strangers, or at least people we don’t consider close friends, can change the way we view specific topics. You’re much more likely to challenge someone else, or allow yourself to be challenged, when you’re not so focused on pleasing someone you care about on a more personal level.
Not all of these suggestions will work for everyone, but hopefully they will give you some ideas (heh) of new ways to stimulate your brain and get you thinking more deeply while writing.
Do you have any more suggestions for how to stimulate deeper thinking and better writing? Feel free to leave them in a comment!
Image courtesy of TED.com.